Check out these trailers and review scores for an exceptionally high quality crop of video game releases this past fortnight, genuine Game of the Year contenders each, and an especially welcome batch for those of us stuck at home with free time on our hands.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Metacritic: 91/ OpenCritic: 92
Set up home on a getaway island in the company of humanoid animal pals: customise your look, design and decorate your dwelling, plant and harvest and make friends, with multiplayer modes for up to eight. An extremely well-anticipated exclusive and Nintendo's big release for the first half of 2020 (fans hope for a second Zelda: Breath of the Wild to fend off PlayStation and Xbox console launches).
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC, Nintendo Switch
Metacritic: 87/ OpenCritic: 90
Rip and tear your way through all manner of demonic beings and their viscera in order to rescue earth, forever pushing forward using the speed and power at your disposal. Perhaps because they have such strikingly different aesthetics and, to a degree, target audiences, the Animal Crossing and Doom Eternal social media teams (and fanbases) have been very supportive of each other.
Persona 5 Royal
Metacritic: 96/ OpenCritic: 95
It's not actually out yet, but perhaps with an eye on Animal Crossing and Doom, Sega and Altus are putting a marker down with an early review embargo for this March 31 release. Debuting on PS3 in 2017 and receiving similar enthusiasm, this even more impressive version sends a high schooler and his vigilante pals through both modern-day Tokyo and a supernatural metaverse where the subconscious mind rules.
MLB The Show 20
Metacritic: 84/ OpenCritic: 85
This could be the final year of PlayStation exclusivity for baseball sim MLB The Show, with Xbox and Nintendo iterations expected as early as 2021, and what an advertisement for its future expanded fanbase this is. A decent iteration upon the already convincing MLB 19, it sports a plethora of game modes, tight technique simulation, and authentic players and stadiums.
Metacritic: 86/ OpenCritic: 86
Taking place a few decades before 2017's equally well-received Nioh and benefiting from Sengoku Era historical influence, this prequel features not a legendary English-born Samurai but a half-man, half-supernatural being as its hero, slicing through no end of intimidating enemies thanks to an excellent, satisfying combat system. Its predecessor was released on PC nine months after a PS4 debut – so there's some hope of an eventual multiplatform release.
Ori and the Will of the Wisps
Xbox One, PC
Metacritic: 90/ OpenCritic: 90
Even better than 2015 studio debut Ori and the Blind Forest, an action and exploration game woven around a wonderful story with, again, incredible visual presentation and a challenging, ultimately rewarding pathway through a sequence of varied levels. – AFP Relaxnews
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